A for Athlete

Eric Shanteau


  • Swimmer at Longhorn Aquatics (TXLA-TX)]]
  • in 2008 = 24 DOB: Oct 1, 1983
  • 6' 1" (185.4 cm)
  • Hometown = Lilburn, Ga.
  • former resident of Snellville, Ga.
  • Coach = Randy Reese / Eddie Reese / Chris Davis
  • Wikipedia:Eric Shanteau
  • USA Swimming's media guide provided some source materials.


Eric Shanteau Golden Goggle Award Nominee (10/8/2008) for Perseverance Award

After finishing second at the 2008 Olympic Trials in Omaha in the 200m breaststroke, Eric Shanteau’s celebration on making his first Olympic team was noticeably reserved. Shanteau had all reason to go crazy after near misses, finishing third in both the 200m and 400m IM in 2004 and a fourth-place finish in the 100m breast earlier at the 2008 Trials. But the 24-year-old had good reason to contain himself. He had been diagnosed only a week earlier with testicular cancer, a sobering jolt at the pinnacle of his career, and only his family and coach knew of the news. After further medical tests, Shanteau made the decision to keep his place on the Olympic team and compete in Beijing. He underwent weekly blood tests and his doctors monitored his situation closely. Shanteau raced hard in China, finishing with a lifetime best 2:10.10 for 10th place, just .13 out of making the Olympic final. He returned to his native Atlanta after the Games and had surgery to remove the cancerous growth, and was called cancer-free.

Career Highlights:

Finished fifth in the 200m breaststroke while competing in his first World Championships in 2007 ... became the first American ever to sweep the individual medley events at 2005 World University Games, setting a new Universiade record in the 200m IM ... won bronze in the 400m IM at the 2004 Short Course World Championships … finished third in the 200m and 400m IM at the 2004 Olympic Trials ... won a silver in the 400m IM at the 2003 World University Games

World Championships

2007: 5, 200m BR Duel in the Pool History: Won three silver medals competing in his first Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool (07)

2007 World Rankings:

94th, 50m breast; 28th, 100m breast; 4th, 200m breast; 8th, 200m IM; 13th, 400m IM

2006 World Rankings:

4th, 200m breast; 77th, 200m fly; 3rd, 200m IM; 7th, 400m IM

2005 World Rankings:

5th, 200m IM; 18th, 400m IM

United States (also known as USA) Flag of the United States.svg Swim Titles

400m IM (1): '02 SPG


Links Within


National Teams: Three-time National A Team (2004-06) … 2001 National Junior Team High School: First male in the history of USA Swimming Scholastic All-American program to have a 4.0 GPA and a National Title … three-time All-American Interscholastic Swim team


High School: Parkview High School '02 College: Auburn '06 College Major: Entrepreneurship and Family Business


Olympic swimmer Shanteau has testicular cancer

ATLANTA (AP) -- Olympic swimmer Eric Shanteau is heading to Beijing with cancer.

A week before the 2008 Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb., news of his testicular cancer came from doctors.

"If I didn't make the team, the decision would have been easy: Go home and have the surgery," Shanteau said. "I made the team, so I had a hard decision. But, by no means am I being stupid about this."

Although Shanteau's doctors have advised him to have surgery now, he's planning to put it off until after Beijing because he doesn't want to disrupt his lifelong goal. The 24-year-old Georgia native will be monitored closely over the next month and vows to drop out of the Olympics if there's any sign is cancer is spreading.


"I was sort of like, 'This isn't real. There's no way this is happening to me right now,"' Shanteau said. "You're trying to get ready for the Olympics and you just get this huge bomb dropped on you."

Shanteau stressed he's not willing to risk his life just to swim in his first Olympics. But, after considering the benefits of immediate treatment, he decided to put off surgery because it would keep him out of the water for at least two weeks, ruining his Beijing preparations.

Shanteau noticed an abnormality and was finally persuaded by his girlfriend to see a doctor. At his initial examination, he was told it was probably nothing more than a benign cyst. But an ultrasound showed the possibility of something more sinister, so he was sent to a specialist.

On June 19, 2008, exactly one week before he was scheduled to leave for the trials, Shanteau received the devastating news.

"It almost numbed me," he said. "I'll remember that day for the rest of my life. Talk about a life-changing experience. That's as big a one as you can have, I think. You're changed for the rest of your life. The few people I've talked to who've gone through this -- and they're all much, much older than I am -- say I'll know that even more in 10 years."

Luckily for Shanteau, the doctors determined his cancer was treatable and had not spread, so it wouldn't be a risk to compete in the Olympic trials.

"A lot of people kept asking me after that race, 'What was going on? We thought we would get a little more reaction out of you,"' he said. "It kind of put damper on things."

Only a few close friends and family knew about Shanteau's condition before the Olympic trials. He decided to go public with his story because he hopes to inspire others with cancer.

His camp already has heard from the agent of Lance Armstrong, who overcame the same disease and won the Tour de France seven straight times.

"Lance's agent told my coaches that I'm the closest thing to Lance Armstrong that there is on the planet right now," Shanteau said. "If I can have a fraction of the impact that he's had, just a tiny little bit, then I think what I'm going through will be good."

Ambitions, Aspirations, Goals, Dreams

To open a boat shop 

Family, Village, Community

Parents: Richard and Janet … father works in retail, and mother is a college English professor Sibling(s): Older brother (Ryan) swam for Georgia Tech (’02) Pet(s): One dog (Abbey) Hobbies Outside the Pool: Wakeboarding, mountain biking Ultimate Way to Relax: A day on the lake, wakeboarding Most Influential Person: Club coach at Swim Atlanta (Chris Davis)

Training Notes


Swims 15,000 meters/yards per day, 6 hours a day, 6 days a week Favorites: U.S. city: Austin, Texas ... band: Incubus

International Medals

2007 Duel in The Pool 2007: Silver, 200m BR; Silver, 200m IM

Top Times

Event Best Year 100m BR 1:01.50 Jul 07 200m BR 2:10.59 Mar 08 200m IM 1:58.05 Aug 06 400m IM 4:14.33 Aug 06


Swimvitational - 2 Final, 100m BR; 1 Final, 200m BR; 2 Final, 200m IM 08 OSU GP - t2 Final, 100m BR; t2 Final, 200m BR; t1 Final, 200m IM


SCY NATS - 4 Final, 100y BR; t1 Final, 200y BR; t3 Final, 200y IM; t2 Final, 400y IM SCSC GP - 4 Final, 200m IM; 2 Final, 400m IM MoO DiP - 2 Final, 200m BR; 2 Final, 200m IM; 2 Final, 400m IM WORLD - 5 Final, 200m BR


US OPEN - 1 Final, 200m BR; 2 Final, 200m IM; 3 Final, 400m IM PAN PAC - 9 Final, 200m BR SUM NATS - 2 Final, 200m BR; 3 Final, 200m IM; 5 Final, 400m IM NCAA - 8 Final, 200y BR; 3 Final, 200y IM; 3 Final, 400y IM


US OPEN - 20 Final, 200m BK; 3 Final, 200m BR; 3 Final, 200m IM; 2 Final, 400m IM WC TRIALS - 3 Final, 200m IM; 3 Final, 400m IM


OLY TRIALS - 11 Final, 200m BR; 3 Final, 200m IM; 2 Final, 200m IM; 3 Final, 400m IM


SUM NATS - 16 Final, 200m BR; 11 Final, 200m IM; 7 Final, 400m IM SPG NATS - 2 Final, 200m BR; 2 Final, 200m IM; 1 Final, 400m IM


About 20 journalists from Japan attended the 2008 United States (also known as USA) Flag of the United States.svg Olympic Swim Trials. The Japanese were there in large part to track the progress of breaststroker Brendan Hansen, the rival of Japanese swimming star Kosuke Kitajima. Hansen, who because of the rivalry is far more famous in Japan (also known as JPN) Flag of Japan.svg than he is in the U.S., won the 100 breaststroke in Omaha, but shockingly, he faltered in his signature event, the 200 breast, finishing fourth as two of his Texas training partners, Scott Spann and Eric Shanteau, secured spots on the team. "I train with these guys every day," said Hansen, who lost an opportunity to win the individual gold medal that eluded him in Athens and reclaim his world record, which Kitajima broke last month. "Ultimately I might have trained them a little too well."